Can bumper plates be left outside?

by Katie Kennedy
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It’s true - our bumper plates have been designed and manufactured to the highest standards, with extremely durable virgin rubber and can withstand being dropped and used time and time again as you reach maximum gains. But, can they be left outside? Should your bumper plates be left outside?


Truthfully, those questions are two different scenarios, and we’ve got the answer for both.


Our bumper plates are crafted to withstand just about anything, including the elements. Our Milspec bumper plates were specifically designed to be used by soldiers (and garage-gymmers) in some of the most inhospitable environments on earth. So, it’s easy to say that our bumper plates can easily be used outside and withstand the toughest workouts in tough environments.


But, does that mean they shouldn’t be taken back inside, cleaned up, and stored properly?


Our bumper plates are freakin’ tough as nails, bad-mama-jama weights to get you big and strong. They can also withstand some time outside, where they’re unprotected from the elements after use. This might lead to the need of some extra maintenance, like cleaning and potentially repair of the metal inner ring that takes the brunt of your hard work. Our bumper plates can absolutely  be left outside for some time. Just be aware that there might be some maintenance necessary afterward.


Can your bumper plates be left outside?


We’re not necessarily going to say “yes,” because we would much prefer that you take the utmost care for your precious plates to prolong their usable lifetime and get the most gains out of them as possible. We’d actually say “no” to this question because you’ve paid good money for your gear, and we’d hate to see you get less of the use and gains you deserve out of them (and less of the life they deserve!). 


What happens when your plates are left outside?


When you’re working on your fitness in the scorching hot summer temperatures, your body isn’t the only thing that seems like it’s reaching unimaginable temperatures. Your bumper plates, especially if they’re black in color, are. If you’re leaving them in direct sunlight especially, they’ll reach extremely high temperatures. Over time, combined with humidity and other elements like rain or hail, your bumper plates will likely start to show signs or wear and deteriorate much faster than if they were to be stored somewhere where they’re protected from those things. Exposure to moisture might not show up right away, but if repeatedly exposed, your bumper plates could start to show signs of rot and the inner ring might show signs of stress and rust, which is not good for your plates, your barbell the plates are used on, or your safety when it comes to heavy lifting and throwing around a barbell with a compromised inner circle and rubber.


If you live somewhere where the temperature varies quite drastically from day to night, it’s important to take those changes into account. Rapid change in temperature, especially when exposed repeatedly and often, can shorten the useful life of bumper plates as well as other equipment, although humidity and moisture pose more of an issue for plates and barbells.


Should your bumper plates be left outside?


While we make some of the toughest bumper plates on the market, we’re going to say “no.” In cases where you lack proper storage for your gear, bumper plates can be left outside, but the consequences must be considered. Bumper plates are going to perform well for much longer when stored properly and from the elements like heat, cold, humidity and moisture, along with your other gym equipment.


Take care of your gym gear, and it’ll take care of you.


Now, get out into your garage gym and lift heavy, lift happy :)